Marius's bandsaw

Hi Matthias,

I bought the bandsaw plans right back in November 2013 and finished the saw in February after about 4 weeks of building time. So far it works great and made my "life in the workshop" a lot easier. And all in all it wasn't really that expensive, cause I got lots of stuff for free:

Wood: free
Plywood: 40€
Bearings and shafts:  free
Motor: 10€
Belt: 2€ (don't know why it was so cheap)
Power switch: 5€
Casters: 20€
4 bandsaw blades: 90€

So the saw, the cart and 4 blades for about 170€!!!

This is the wood that I got planed and rough cut from my grandfather for free. And after a little bit of time on the table saw, these boards gave me all the pieces that I needed for the bandsaw frame.

I got 6 used bearings for free and they were in a really good shape, actually 2 of them were new. I have two hole saws the right size to make the holes for the flanges, but interestingly the cheap one made a better sized hole.

My dad then made the custom shaped shafts for me out of some really tough steel. The ends of them are drilled and tapped to secure the wheels.

I made the wheels out of a sandwich of 5 layers of 6mm plywood with birch plywood in the middle. But it didn't came out the way I expected and wobbled a little bit. Maybe I'll make some new wheels from only two layers of 15mm birch plywood in the future.

The table top is a piece of "Siebdruck" as it's called it in Germany. It's some 18mm birch plywood with a nice shiny black veneer on the top.

I had a little bit of a problem with the motor. I wanted to use the red one. It's 1 hp and I got for 5€, but unfortunately it runs the wrong direction and could not reverse it without damaging it. So at this point I upgraded my shop with 3-phase power. I got this other 1.5 hp motor for 10€, but unfortunately it didn't work anymore. I powered it with a drill until I had a suitable motor.

A few weeks later I got a very nice and heavy 2hp slow-speed (6-pole) motor with a pulley on it, again for 10€. It works perfectly. With it only 1000 rpm I could make the pulleys nearly the same size.

The rolling stand I made for this saw is a little bit bigger than the one from the plans because my motor is so heavy the whole saw tended to tip over on a smaller stand.

I also made a adjustable circle cutting jig with different inserts...

... and big sled to cut up logs.

And all the scrap wood and left over boards from this project.

Thanks Matthias for the wonderful plans,


You can see the bandsaw in action in this video:
Walnut bowl blanks

Originally published July 2014.

Update Feb 2015:

I wanted to make new wheels for my bandsaw, because I discovered some big problems with my current ones and their design. In the video I explain the problem and show, very detailed, how I made the new wheels.

I was never really pleased with the blade-speed. It was too slow, because of a fallacy in the first place and I wasn't even touching the potential of the 2hp.

So I installed a new motor, which I got for free. (A factory was getting rid of some old machines and I managed to some a machine part that had a motor attached). This one seems to be a perfect woodworking motor, because it originally run a transmission in an oil bath. So the motor itself is sealed very well and sawdust won't affect its performance. It is also a 2hp motor, but runs at 1400rpm and now I got a higher blade-speed (21 m/s) It seems really fast, but I looked at some good commercial bandsaws and they all have blade speeds between 15 and 25 m/s, so I thought my blade-speed should be allright and it turned out, it is. But because the motor only has a flange and no foot, it was harder to install it. I made a new, thicker belt cover which the motor is bolted onto.

The new wheels came out really really nice and work much better than the old ones. The new bearings I installed are quieter, the wheels themselves are now flat and I managed to get just a minimum of side-wobble (the plywood sandwich from the old wheels was not flat...) and the new wheel design prevents the sawdust from being caught between the wheel and the tire.

When I had the new wheels finished I was curious about their weight, because MDF is heavier than plywood. The old wheels out of plywood weigh about 1860 grams and the new MDF wheels about 2960 grams. So over 1kg heavier, but I got less vibration with them. Tells me that I balanced them good enough.

For the new wheels I wanted to try out a wheel brush. The brush is normally used with a separate handle for cleaning dishes. You can adjust it back and forth and also turn the brush, so if parts of it wear out I can turn it a little bit and have fresh bristles.

I also made another change to my saw. When I built the saw and routed the groove for the replaceable insert plate I routed a little bit too deep. So the insert plate always was a little bit too low and small pieces really liked to get stuck on the table edge. To fix that I went with thinner plywood for the inserts (6,5mm) and put four screws in the corners of the groove. They allowed my to make really precise adjustments and bring the insert level with the table. Another advantage is that sawdust doesn't affect the fit of the inserts as much.

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